|Publication number||US7306055 B2|
|Application number||US 11/069,783|
|Publication date||Dec 11, 2007|
|Filing date||Mar 1, 2005|
|Priority date||Mar 2, 2004|
|Also published as||US20050193645|
|Publication number||069783, 11069783, US 7306055 B2, US 7306055B2, US-B2-7306055, US7306055 B2, US7306055B2|
|Inventors||R. Michael Barnes|
|Original Assignee||Barnes R Michael|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (22), Referenced by (46), Classifications (13), Legal Events (10)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present application claims priority to now abandoned U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/549,485, filed on Mar. 2, 2004.
The present embodiments relate to methods for automatically erecting a mobile drilling rig at a drilling site.
In the current art, drilling rigs or workover rigs with a hook capacity between 450 kips and 500 kips represent the upper limit for rigs with a mast and drawworks package that can be transported on a single trailer within legal or permit able road transportation limitations. Above this capacity, single trailer packaging is not achievable with a full-height mast with traveling equipment and a top drive pre-strung with wireline without grossly exceeding practical road weight limitations.
Although single trailer packaging of a mast is expected for smaller capacity operations for efficient mobilization, this upper limit capacity with the single trailer packaging presents compromises to design that distinguish the limited rig from a “full blown drilling rig”. Adherence to this type of packaging results in limitations of drawworks design, of working space on the floor, of mast flexibility, of mast durability, of mast stability, of floor height, of BOP height, and of allowable accessories. Extensive use of high-strength steel and extremely light design for components make the structural integrity inherently more critical or prone to and sensitive to damage that inevitably occurs in normal operations. Commonly, the mast or other components are removed and separately transported for legal road transport in many regions.
Many of the current single trailer or carrier rig designs treat the substructure somewhat as an afterthought. The packaging of the substructure for road transport, assembly, and erection is rarely given adequate attention.
In a fully capable, modern drilling package with a mud system with tanks, engine power and control modules, well control equipment, as well as other significant packages to complete, the mast and substructure represent only a portion of the total. Overall efficient packaging of the entire rig does not end with the mast and substructure.
One of the most notable deficiencies in mobile or “fast moving” rig packaging is the inability to move efficiently between wells a short distance apart. This major shortcoming is critical in some drilling operations that have wells in a cluster or single row. In these installations, the operator needs a rig to move very quickly (a few hours or less) between wells that are typically thirty meters or less apart from each other.
Most rig substructures are configured so that the rig must be completely rigged down to make these short moves. Other substructures have openings that allow skidding without rigging down, but have the disadvantage that the mast must be installed and laid down along the direction of the well row. This configuration is not acceptable because of the danger of the mast falling on a completed wellhead.
Current methods for modifying existing drilling rigs to allow them to move efficiently from well-to-well are very costly. The single trailer packaging does not lend itself to efficient well-to-well moves. The current art does not teach of any mobile or “fast moving” rigs that adequately address short well-to-well moves.
Some rig packages compromise on the mast height. Limitations to doubles or singles compromise on tripping efficiency and are not acceptable to many operators if a treble mast is available as an alternative.
A need, therefore, exists for a drilling rig that does not go beyond legal transportation limits, but also provides efficient installation and assembly, minimum rig up site requirement, scalability of rig capacity, mobility, well-to-well skidding, and winterization possibilities not found in the current art.
In the detailed description of the embodiments presented below, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, in which:
The present embodiments are detailed below with reference to the listed Figures.
Before explaining the present embodiments in detail, it is to be understood that the embodiments are not limited to the particular descriptions and that it can be practiced or carried out in various ways.
The present embodiments relate to a mobile drilling or workover rig. The mobile drilling rig is an efficient assembly of equipment that allows the rig to be transported and installed easily and quickly. The embodied mobile drilling rigs include a unique substructure design that allows well-to-well access along a row of multiple wells. The substructure allows existing wellheads to be cleared since the subbase center section is removable leaving a large clear opening. Further, since the mast assembly can install and raise perpendicular to the row of wells, the embodied mobile drilling rigs can safely clear the existing wellheads.
The embodied mobile drilling rigs can be configured to be transported by road with as little as three major loads, all within legal or permitable load and dimensional limits for most regions. Assembly of the rig is accomplished without cranes or special equipment and requires minimal time and man hours and is safer in comparison with the assembly of rigs in the known art. The single-load mast transportation reduces rig-up complexity. The integration of braces with the transported loads eliminates the need to handle loose components and minimizes field connections.
The embodied mobile drilling rigs are capable of being equipped with modern equipment including AC power, top drive, driller's control cabin, and other similar pieces of equipment needed in drilling operations. The embodied mobile drilling rigs provide a reduced pad size requirement and improve cellar access for BOP handling.
The methods for installing a mobile drilling rig at a drilling site provide a minimal rig-up sequence that is fast, efficient, safer, and does not require a crane or special equipment. The embodied mobile drilling rigs have a low assembly height, around five feet in most cases, which allow loads to be offloaded from the truck and dolly without the need for intermediate handling. The mast and drawworks installations are not sequence dependent allowing for better hook-up time. The doghouse and driller's cabin can be raised with the drill floor. The methods include utilizing the same telescopic cylinders for raising the mast and substructure, thereby reducing manual intervention during transportation, rig-up, erection, or dismantling.
An embodiment of a mobile drilling rig includes a mast section, a driller's side substructure, and an off-driller's side substructure. All three sections are mobile and meet legal load and dimensional limits for road transportation in most regions.
The mast section can include an upper section that nest within and a lower section in a telescoping fashion. Each substructure includes a mast starting section and a floor side box connected to the mast starting section. Each substructure includes one or more elevating legs that engage the floor side box and a subbase side box. Each substructure section includes a subbase side box and one or more raising cylinders that are connected to the subbase side box and mast starting section. The lower end of the mast starting section engages the mast starting sections.
The methods entail transporting the mobile drilling rig to the drilling site. The mobile drilling rig is transported in three sections: a mast section; a driller's substructure; and an off-driller's substructure. The driller's and off-driller's substructure each include a mast starting section and raising cylinders. The mast and substructures can be installed together at the same time the generators and other rig equipment are installed because the installation activity for the mast and substructures occur primarily in the area forward of the well, while the installation activity of the other rig equipment occurs primarily in the area in the rear of the well.
The driller's and off-driller's substructures are positioned parallel to one another at the drilling site. The mast is positioned in relation to the mast starting sections on each substructure. The mast is located on and is partially or wholly supported by a dolly.
The mast is connected to the substructures at the mast starting sections. A dolly bolster on the dolly can be used to raise the mast horizontally above the first and second mast starting sections. The mast can then be lowered to connect to the mast starting sections. A mast stand can be extended from the mast to the site in order to support the weight of the mast until the mast is raised.
The raising cylinders on the substructures are extended to a mast raising position to raise the mast into a substantially vertical orientation. The mast can be raised into a slightly tilted orientation, such as an orientation used by workovers rigs. The raising cylinders can raise the mast into a substantially vertical orientation by exerting force from a mast raising position, such as applying force to either the mast itself or on the mast starting sections. The raising cylinders can be attached to the mast starting sections using a connection allowing for a push only engagement.
Once the mast in the substantially vertical orientation, the mast is locked into place.
The drawworks can be installed before the raising the mast. The drawworks can be used to assist the raising cylinders is raising the mast, wherein a fastline is connected from the drawworks to the crown. Further, a racking board and a belly board are folded against the mast during transportation. The racking board and the belly board can be extended before the mast is raised.
Once the mast is locked in place, the raising cylinders are retracted from the mast raising position and re-extended into a drillfloor position. The drill floor position allows the raising cylinders to raise the substructure into an operating elevation. The raising cylinders can engage the floor side box, the mast starting section, or other position that allows the raising cylinders to raise the substructure with minimum stress applied to the cylinders. Once the substructure is positioned into an operating elevation, the substructure is locked into place. Braces can be used to lock the substructure in place.
The raising cylinders can be assisted in raising the substructure by the use of intermediate cylinders located on the substructure. The intermediate cylinders begin the raising process of the substructure to alleviate stress on the raising cylinders during the initial stages of raising the substructure.
Once the mobile drilling rig is erected, a central subbase can be installed between the subbase side boxes and a central drillfloor can be installed between the floor side boxes. The mast can be a telescoping mast and can be extended into a final position using a telescoping cylinder or by using the drawworks.
With reference to the figures,
A mobile drilling rig can include a hoisting assembly that includes drawworks (80), fastline (108), a crown (104), drill lines (114), deadline (110) and a deadline anchor (112). The drawworks can rest on a driller's drawworks support frame (28). The off-driller's support structure can include a drawworks support frame as well.
A mobile drilling rig is transported to the site (5) in at least three sections: a driller's side substructure (11), an off-driller's side substructure (38), and a mast (10). The three sections are depicted in
As depicted in
As depicted in
The mast (10) is transported in a horizontal orientation on a mast truck (120) with a mast dolly (118) resting on a support cradle (160), as shown in
As depicted in
The mast starting section legs are widely spaced to allow for a comfortable working space on the floor. The floor space is not compromised by narrow mast as configured in most mobile rigs.
The mast (10) is aligned to the mast starting sections (14 and 40) and brought towards the mast starting sections (14 and 40) using a truck (120) or other similar means, as depicted in
After the mast (10) is coupled to the mast starting sections (14 and 40), the truck (120) is removed from the mast (10), as exampled in
The mast (10), the first mast starting section (14), and the second mast starting section (40) are then raised into a substantially vertical orientation using the driller's raising cylinder (30) and the off-driller's raising cylinder (54), simultaneously.
In order to prevent the mast (10) from coming to rest on the substructure with excessive forces and to keep the mast from tipping uncontrollably due to inertia once the mast approaches the vertical orientation, each substructure can include a mast snubbing cylinder (68 and 70) to cushion the mast.
Once the mast (10) and the mast starting sections (14 and 40) are in the vertical orientation, a rear mast shoe on each section is pinned to secure the respective mast starting section (14 and 40) to the respective drill floor side box (16 and 42).
The efficient design and arrangement of the raising cylinders (30 and 54) can keep the cylinders to three stages as compared to four or more on most current designs. The ability to use the same raising cylinders for mast and substructure raising steps reduces costs and complexity of rig-up. The cylinders can be double acting for full retraction of the rods for protection and longer use life. The retraction ports can be located on the cylinder barrel, thereby avoiding cumbersome external piping and hoses to the cylinder rod end.
The drill floor side boxes (16 and 42) are raised to an intermediate height using the intermediate raising cylinders (72 and 74).
The intermediate raising cylinders (72 and 74) are typically connected to the subbase side boxes (26 and 52) and engage the drill floor side boxes (16 and 42) by a raising shoe.
After the mast (10) and the mast starting sections (14 and 40) are in the vertical orientation and the drill floor side boxes (16 and 42) have been raised to the intermediate height, the raising cylinders (30 and 54) are retracted and follow a guide in each respective mast starting sections (14 and 40) and engage into a shoe in each respective mast starting section (14 and 40). The first and second raising cylinders (30 and 54) are engaged with the mast starting sections (14 and 40) using a method allowing for a push compression action. Once the first and second raising cylinders (30 and 54) are engaged with the respective shoes on the respective mast starting sections (14 and 40), the raising cylinders (30 and 54) begin to raise the respective drill floor side boxes (16 and 42).
The drill floor side boxes (16 and 42) are finally raised to the operating height using the raising cylinders (30 and 54).
The mast (10) on the drilling rig can be a telescoping mast. The telescoping mast can be raised using a hydraulic cylinder that keeps drawworks (80) power-up out of the critical path of rig-up sequence.
The drawworks (80) is installed simultaneously with the mast allowing for better hook-up time. The doghouse and driller's cabin are raised simultaneous with the drill floor. The assembly requires few field assembly connections. Further, minimum space is required on the drawworks (80) side of the rig since the rig is not installed from that side. The low assembly height means that the rig is easily offloaded from truck or trailer bed heights to the assembled position without intermediate handling. The integration of the crown, traveling equipment, and wire line reel contributes to fast rig-up. The assembled floor and substructure arrangement lends itself to efficient winterization.
An embodiment of the mobile drilling rig includes a center drill floor section inserted between, and connected to, the driller's side floor side box and the off-driller's floor side box.
As discussed above, the mast (10) can include a racking board (64) and a belly board (62) that can be folded into the mast (10) during transportation, as depicted in
The drilling rig can be moved from one well to another well clearing existing wellheads.
The mast can be raised perpendicular to a row of wells and the substructure has a generous wellhead skid clearance making the rig efficient for multiple well operations. The cellar can be opened along the well row allowing skidding from well to well without rigging down.
The embodiments have been described in detail with particular reference to certain embodiments thereof, but it will be understood that variations and modifications can be effected within the scope of the embodiments, especially to those skilled in the art.
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|U.S. Classification||175/57, 52/651.05, 175/203, 52/119, 175/122|
|International Classification||E21B15/00, B66C23/06, E04H12/34, B66C23/00, B66C23/62, E21B7/02|
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Effective date: 20120419
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